Governor George E. Pataki and Senator James L. Seward today announced nearly $1.6 million in grants for 23 trail-related projects across the state as part of the federal Recreational Trails Program. Projects in the 51st Senatorial District received funding, said Senator James L. Seward.
"The Empire State’s vast trail system offers a wide variety of opportunities for four-season recreation and exciting outdoor activities for New Yorkers and visitors," Governor Pataki said. "These grants will help to protect and enhance thousands of miles of trails and important wildlife habitat, link parklands and open spaces and create new recreational opportunities in the Hudson Valley and across the state for the benefit of future generations."
"I am pleased that the Village of Tannersville in Greene County and the Sharon Pathfinders in Schoharie County will be receiving grants for their projects," Senator Seward said. "They provided strong applications and their efforts will materially contribute to improved outdoor recreational opportunities in my district."
New York has one of the most extensive trails systems in the nation with more than 20,000 miles of trails among public and private lands that are maintained by state and local municipalities and motorized and non-motorized trail group volunteers.
The grants will be used for such projects as increasing access to waterfront areas, constructing trail bridges, purchasing trail grooming equipment, and linking larger trail networks. Trail development plans must emphasize providing access for the disabled and minimizing environmental impact. This year’s awards support such projects as the first ever mountain biking trail in a New York City park, the purchase of trail maintenance equipment in the North Country, improvement of trail accessibility in the Hudson Valley and waterfront trail development in the Southern Tier.
State Parks administers the federal matching grant program providing funding to state and local governments, not-for-profit organizations, corporations, and partnerships for the maintenance, renovation, development, acquisition and construction of trails and trail-related facilities. Funding is provided through the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Recreational Trails Program.
Since 1995, Governor Pataki has committed more than $530 million to protect nearly 917,000 acres of land across New York State. During that time, the governor has provided unprecedented funding for open space preservation and other critical environmental projects through the state's Environmental Protection Fund, including a record $150 million in this year's state budget – a 20 percent increase over last year and a six-fold increase since 1995. Environmental spending in New York now totals more than $1.4 billion annually.
The local grant awards are as follows:
Village of Tannersville Huckleberry Multi-use Recreation Trail $100,000
The Village of Tannersville is requesting assistance to support the cost of reconstructing a portion of the Huckleberry Multi-use Trail located at Rip Van Winkle Lake Park.
Sharon Pathfinders, Inc. Trail Maintenance Equipment Purchase $63,090
The Sharon Pathfinders, Inc. snowmobile club requests funding to purchase a used tractor and a drag to add to their grooming inventory. The new larger equipment would enable fewer grooming trips and provide a more durable surface.